Southwestern Medical Foundation Partners with the DFW Albert Schweitzer Fellowship

Program will develop emerging leaders in health through year-long service projects inspired by Nobel Peace Prize recipient and humanitarian-physician Albert Schweitzer

Southwestern Medical Foundation is joining with the Dallas-Fort Worth Schweitzer Fellowship Program, in partnership with longtime civic leaders in Dallas and eight local universities, to bring this innovative service and leadership building fellowship to medical and graduate students in the DFW area.

Open to students from Baylor University, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, Texas Woman’s University, University of Dallas, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Dallas, and UT Southwestern Medical Center, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship aims to address local health disparities and the social determinants of health while developing future leaders.

Kathleen Gibson, President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation will join the Advisory Board of the DFW Schweitzer Fellowship Program, helping to steer the direction of the program and grow the Fellowship as its first class of Fellows begins their projects.

Fellows will develop and launch community service projects that address unmet health disparities and the social determinants of health within communities in Dallas and Ft. Worth. Throughout the course of their year-long projects, the Fellows will also receive extensive leadership development and training in how to effectively address health disparities.

“The Dallas-Fort Worth Schweitzer Fellowship Program embraces Albert Schweitzer’s commitment to service and compassion for people in need,” said Courtney Roy, Program Director for the DFW Schweitzer Fellowship Program. “Our program supports a range of projects that address health and wellbeing in multiple and creative ways, in order to reach those with needs that often go unmet in traditional healthcare and social service settings.”

”Our Foundation was created to rally citizens of the state in support of the highest quality health care possible,” said Robert B. Rowling, Chairman of Southwestern Medical Foundation. “Like Albert Schweitzer, our founders embarked on a successful mission to ‘inspire a great citizenship to greater deeds’ and build medicine, while serving our community. From the time that the Foundation started the medical school, the Foundation has emphasized, through the Ho Din Award, recognition of the student who best exemplifies the personal qualities all great physicians must possess: knowledge, understanding, and compassion. This Fellowship Program represents and personifies these important values, while helping lead the way in improving public health in our community. It is inspiring to me that the DFW Schweitzer Fellowship chapter was suggested by Dr. Thomas Heyne, who was the 2012 winner of the Ho Din Award. We are very proud to see it launch and to play an important part.”

Schweitzer Fellows are graduate students in healthcare fields, social work, law, education, and other fields who design and implement year-long service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities, while also fulfilling their academic responsibilities. The process of moving their Fellowship projects from an initial concept to completion teaches Schweitzer Fellows valuable skills in working with others in allied fields. As Schweitzer Fellows develop professionally, this skill is critical to their ability to effect larger-scale change among vulnerable populations.

Schweitzer Fellows who have successfully completed their year-long service project are called Fellows for Life. Some of ASF’s Fellows for Life include Robert Satcher, Jr., MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Anderson Cancer Center and NASA Mission Specialist; Rishi Manchanda, MD, author of the TED Book, The Upstream Doctors: Medical Innovators Track Sickness To Its Source; and Jessica Lahey, JD, who writes about education and parenting issues for the New York Times, The Atlantic and on her blog, Coming of Age in the Middle. Additionally, three Schweitzer Fellows for Life are among those currently working in West Africa to fight the Ebola outbreak: Meredith Dixon, MD, who is a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer; Nahid Bhadelia, MD, director of infection control at Boston’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory and a hospital epidemiologist at Boston Medical Center; and William Fischer II, MD, a pulmonologist and critical care physician at UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine.

The Dallas-Forth Worth chapter is one of two Texas-based chapters; the Houston-Galveston chapter opened in 2008. The Dallas-Forth Worth chapter is ASF’s 12th US-based program. The others are in Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Columbus-Athens; Los Angeles; New Orleans; New Hampshire and Vermont; North Carolina; Pittsburgh; and San Francisco. ASF also has a program chapter based in Lambaréné, Gabon, at The Albert Schweitzer Hospital.


About The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) is improving the health of vulnerable people now and for the future by developing a corps of Leaders in Service—professionals skilled in creating positive change with and in our communities, our health and human service systems, and our world.

Through community-based, mentored direct service and a multidisciplinary, reflective leadership development program, ASF is building community capacity and training a professional workforce that is:

  • skilled in addressing the underlying causes of health inequities;
  • committed to improving the health outcomes of underserved communities; and
  • prepared for a life of continued service.

To date, nearly 3,000 Schweitzer Fellows have delivered nearly 500,000 hours of service to nearly 300,000 people in need.  Additionally, more than 100 Fellows have provided care at the 100-year-old Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Africa. Through this work and through the contributions of Fellows whose professional careers serve their communities, ASF perpetuates the legacy and philosophy of physician-humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer. ASF has 12 program locations in the U.S. and one in Lambaréné, Africa. Its national office is located in Boston, MA and hosted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

About the Southwestern Medical Foundation

Southwestern Medical Foundation celebrates its 75th Anniversary – a milestone which provides the Foundation an opportunity to recognize the impact our community has had in advancing the important cause of academic medicine, research and medical education.

In 1943, the Foundation established Southwestern Medical College and helped to nurture its growth from a fledgling medical school into one of the preeminent medical research and academic centers in the world. That college today — UT Southwestern — enjoys an international reputation for discovering the basis for disease through research, applying the discoveries to the clinical care of patients, and educating the next generation of health care professionals.

For 75 years, it has been our privilege to foster a unique culture where generosity can be imbued with meaning.   The Foundation currently manages over $800 million across 1,000 funds, creating a financial resource that will enable advances in health care benefiting the citizens of this community, state and the nation for years to come.

For more information, please visit

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Biology student Courtney A. Follit wins P.E.O. scholar award

Congratulations Courtney A. Follit,  Ph.D. student in molecular and cellular biology. She is one of 85 doctoral students nationwide selected to receive a $15,000 scholar award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She was sponsored by Chapter CQ of Dallas.

Courtney is the daughter of Jane and Robert Follit of Rockville, Maryland. She is a 2012 graduate of SMU, where she was the recipient of Distinguished Scholar and Rotunda scholarships, among many other honors. READ MORE

The P.E.O. Scholar Awards (PSA) were established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing doctoral-level degrees at an accredited college or university.

The P.E.O. Sisterhood, founded Jan. 21, 1869, at Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is a philanthropic educational organization interested in bringing increased opportunities for higher education to women. There are approximately 6,000 local chapters in the United States and Canada with nearly a quarter of a million active members.

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Gilbert Lecture Series presents author and game designer Ian Bogost “The Mistrust of Things”

Event Date: Thursday, April 16
Time: 6pm reception, 6:30pm lecture
Location: Dedman Life Science Building, room 131


How can we learn to live with things?

How do we approach a world so replete, so overburdened with stuff that it’s literally falling apart from the wear?

How do we think of ourselves as just another thing among so many others, rather than the masters of the things that are our servants?

How can we respect things for what they are, irrespective of their role in our concerns, and how do we really do so, not just late one weird night but every day, habitually?

And how do we do so without descending into the anguish of nihilism, without concluding that the universe is fundamentally indifferent?

Award-winning author and game designer Ian Bogost will speak on “The Mistrust of Things” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in Room 131 of Dedman Life Science Building. The lecture, sponsored by SMU’s Gilbert Lecture Series, will be preceded by a reception at 6 p.m. MORE HERE

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Brian Stump, Earth Sciences, key speaker at the 18th Honors Convocation

Outstanding achievement honored at SMU’s 2014-15 Awards Extravaganza, Honors Convocation.

Dedman College faculty, staff and students were recognized with teaching awards, service honors and the University’s highest commendation, the “M” Award, at the 2015 Awards Extravaganza Monday, April 13.

> Read the list of award winners from Honors Convocation 2015

On the same day, the University honored its best students at the 18th Honors Convocation. The address was delivered by Brian Stump, Claude C. Albritton Jr. Chair in Geological Sciences in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.

An expert in seismic wave propagation and earthquake source theory, Stump has become well known in North Texas for his continuing research on the increasing occurrences of small earthquakes that have shaken the area since 2008. In November 2014, he was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions to his field, particularly in the area of seismic monitoring in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. READ MORE

Congratulations to Dedman College faculty, staff and students who were recognized at the 2015 Awards Extravaganza on Monday, April 13.

Receiving the “M” Award, SMU’s most prestigious honor. Recipients include:

• Jill DeTemple, associate professor of religious studies
• Elizabeth Wheaton, senior lecturer in economics

The Willis M. Tate Award honors an outstanding faculty member who has been involved in student life. Recipients include:

• Jodi Cooley, associate professor of physics
• Stephen Sekula, assistant professor of physics
• Willard Spiegelman, Dwaine E. Hughes Jr. Distinguished Chair in English
• Brian Zoltowski, assistant professor of chemistry

Receiving the Extra Mile Awards, presented by Students for New Learning for graciousness and sensitivity to students with learning differences:

• Ian Harris, associate professor of statistical science

Read the full list of award winners.

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Physicists tune Large Hadron Collider to find ‘sweet spot’ in high-energy proton smasher

Posted: April 15, 2015

Start up of the world’s largest science experiment is underway—with protons traveling in opposite directions at almost the speed of light in the deep underground tunnel called the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva.

As protons collide, physicists will peer into the resulting particle showers for new discoveries about the universe, said Ryszard Stroynowski, a collaborator on one of the collider’s key experiments and a professor in the Department of Physics at Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

“The hoopla and enthusiastic articles generated by discovery of the Higgs boson two years ago left an impression among many people that we have succeeded, we are done, we understand everything,” said Stroynowski, who is the senior member of SMU’s Large Hadron Collider team. “The reality is far from this. The only thing that we have found is that Higgs exist and therefore the Higgs mechanism of generating the mass of fundamental particles is possible.”

Read more:

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Kimbilio mentioned in NY Times article on author Toni Morrison

Originally Posted: April 8, 2015
By: Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah

The Radical Vision of Toni Morrison

At 84, she sits comfortably as one of the greatest authors in American history, even as her uncompromising dream for black literature seems farther away than ever.

Not too long ago, Toni Morrison sat in the small kitchen attached to the studio where she was recording the audiobook for her newest novel, “God Help the Child,” telling a roomful of strangers stories that I will never forget. The studio, a small, refurbished barn in Katonah, N.Y., was more than a hundred years old, but only a few rustic touches remained, like a sliding barn door and knotty pine floors. A solid kitchen table had been laid with fresh fruits, muffins and tins of jam. Beams of sunlight reflected off the blindingly white snow outside the glass window. A young woman from Random House kept mentioning her sunglasses, how it was bright enough to wear them inside. Everyone giggled at her nervous chatter, but they seemed to be mostly laughing at her brave attempt to make small talk in the presence of Toni Morrison. READ MORE


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Cross-Disciplinary Team of Dedman College and Cox Students Competes April 16-18 at Richest and Largest Student Startup Competition

Biolum-Resized-Version 2Congratulations to Edward Allegra! His startup team, BioLum Sciences has been accepted to compete in the world famous Rice Business Plan Competition this weekend, April 16-18. The Rice Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level student startup competition. BioLum will compete with over 40 teams from around the world for more than $1 million in cash and prizes. This is the 15th year for the competition.

Read more about the competing teams:

About BioLum Sciences:
Biolum Sciences is a smartphone-based imaging system that can detect the presence of asthma and reduce the current 40% misdiagnosis of asthma in the United States. Watch the BioLum 60 second pitch. Comprised of undergraduates, Edward Allegra, Miguel Quimbar and Jack Reynolds, BioLum Sciences is a Big iDeas start-up that has raised approximately 50K through competitions to date.

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Tim Brys Dinosaur Fossil Dates Back to 100 Million Years Ago


Posted: April 10, 2015

Tim Brys and his son made a discovery of their lifetimes on a hill behind a Texas grocery store when they found a dinosaur fossil that paleontologists believe dates back 100 million years.

Brys, who is employed at the Dallas Zoo, and 4-year-old Wylie received help from a team of scientists from Dallas’ Southern Methodist University this week in excavating the fossil they originally found last fall in the Fort Worth suburb of Mansfield, reported the Dallas Morning News.

“We commonly go collect fossils as something we can do together to be outside. Wiley enjoys coming with me on my trips,” Brys told KXAS-TV about his walks with his son.

“We were finding some fish vertebrae in the hillside, and then Wiley walked a little ways ahead of me and came back with a piece of bone. And I paused and was like, ‘OK, where did you find this?'”

Even though the Brys found the bones in September, this week was one of the earliest days SMU researchers could start digging because they needed permits to get on the land and excavate. READ MORE

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Rick Halperin, Embrey Human Rights Program, in USA Today


April 8, 2015

Supreme Court gives new life to death penalty debate

WASHINGTON — The state that plans to kill Kent Sprouse on Thursday recently received a new supply of pentobarbital, the drug of choice for executioners in a country fast running out of humane ways to perform lethal injections.

That should give Texas enough of the barbiturate to execute four death row inmates at its Huntsville state penitentiary this month and maintain its status as the nation’s leader in lethal injections — more than 500 since it became the first to use that method in 1982.

But other states — and some of the prisoners they have executed of late — can’t find pharmacies willing to supply drugs that can kill reliably, without the gasps and groans the Supreme Court has indicated may violate the Constitution’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

In three weeks, the justices will consider a challenge from three death row inmates to Oklahoma’s lethal injection method, one that’s used by several other states. A ruling against the use of midazolam, a sedative that lacks the knockout punch of pentobarbital, as part of a three-drug cocktail would further crimp the country’s ability to execute prisoners.

Even if the court does not rule against Oklahoma, a number of other developments are pointing toward the diminution of the death penalty in America:

• Six states — New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut and Maryland — have abolished capital punishment since 2004.

• Several other states have imposed moratoriums on lethal injections because of problems, ranging from botched executions in Oklahoma and Ohio to a “cloudy” drug concoction in Georgia.

• The Supreme Court has ruled that juveniles and people with intellectual disabilities cannot be executed, while judges, juries and prosecutors have turned increasingly to life sentences without the possibility of parole.

• Just last month, both the American Pharmacists Association and the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacies discouraged their members from participating in the process. The U.S. group called it “fundamentally contrary to the role of pharmacists as providers of health care.”

• The difficulties involved in lethal injections are forcing states with capital punishment laws to rejuvenate backup methods once viewed as beyond the pale. Tennessee would allow electrocution, Utah death by firing squad. Now Oklahoma lawmakers are moving toward legalizing the use of nitrogen gas.

“The lethal injection issues are coming at a critical juncture,” says Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. Capital punishment is declining, he notes, “judicially, legislatively and as a matter of practice – all at the same time.”


Death row inmate Richard Glossip and two others are challenging Oklahoma’s use of a controversial three-drug cocktail for lethal injections. (Photo: AP)
There is good reason to believe the Supreme Court won’t help that trend April 29 when it considers Glossip v. Gross — a case called Warner v. Gross until the justices refused to stop Charles Warner’s lethal injection in January.

Despite its rulings abolishing the death penalty for people with intellectual disabilities in 2002 and for juveniles younger than 18 in 2005, the conservative-leaning court has shown little inclination to move much further. Only four votes were needed to accept the Oklahoma case. Only the use of midazolam as part of a three-drug protocol is in jeopardy.

That’s not the same three-drug protocol the court upheld in Baze v. Rees, the 2008 Kentucky case that upheld the method of lethal injection used in most states at the time. Midazolam was implicated in three botched executions last year in Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona, where prisoners gasped, groaned and snorted before succumbing.

Although Florida and Oklahoma used that protocol successfully in January, Texas and Missouri have had fewer problems with pentobarbital. The problem is in getting a reliable supply of any lethal injection drugs following the European Union’s export ban in 2011.

States that have turned to compounding pharmacies for their drugs are running into increased resistance — for good reason, says David Miller, executive vice president of the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists.

“As a pharmacist, I was trained to take care of people,” Miller says. “This is not our business. Our business is in healing.”

The court will hear the challenge from Richard Glossip, John Grant and Benjamin Cole, whose executions had been scheduled for January, February and March. Glossip was convicted of paying another man to kill the owner of the Oklahoma City budget motel where he worked as manager. He has long declared his innocence.

The battle lines in Oklahoma are clear. The state, which not only agreed to postpone those executions but asked the court to do so, hopes for a clear victory.

“The families of the victims in these three cases have waited a combined 48 years for the sentences of these heinous crimes to be carried out,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt has said.

The best that death penalty opponents likely can hope for is a narrow decision restricting the use of midazolam.

“I do not think the court is going to open the Pandora’s box to broader discussions about the nature of lethal injection as a broad topic or the death penalty in general,” says Rick Halperin, director of the Human Rights Education Program at Texas’ Southern Methodist University. READ MORE

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100 million year old dinosaur bones discovered in Mansfield, headed to SMU


Originally Posted: April 7, 2015

Dinosaur bones estimated to be 100 million years old recently discovered in Mansfield by a 4-year-old boy are now on their way to Southern Methodist University in Dallas for further study.

The dinosaur bones were first discovered in September next to a Mansfield retail center that was under construction.

Since the discovery, experts have been digging and excavating near the Sprouts grocery store on Matlock Road and Debbie Lane.

When all of that earth and dirt was dug up to make way for the shopping center, a Dallas zookeeper who lives nearby thought he’d be able to find fish fossils.

The whole area was covered in water millions of years ago, said the Dallas Zoo.

Zookeeper Tim Brys thought his son Wiley, 4, would enjoy going on a fossil hunt.

“We commonly go collect fossils as something we can do together to be outside. Wiley enjoys coming with me on my trips,” Brys explained. READ MORE

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